History made as final Olympic and Paralympic spots were claimed for Paris 2024

"VAN" (Sports Desk - 22.05.2024) :: History was made in an intense session of racing in Lucerne on Tuesday, when the final Olympic and Paralympic spots in Rowing were claimed for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With the last 37 slots available for Paris across the 19 boat classes, there were historic moments, heart breaks, and photo finishes when the finals of the 2024 Final Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta were contested on the Rotsee.

For the first time in the history of Rowing, the Olympic Rowing Regatta (27 July to 4 August 2024) will see an Italian and Danish women’s eight line up at the Paris 2024 Rowing venue at Vaires-sur-Marne in a few weeks’ time after both nations secured the last two tickets of the event. Italy dominated the women's eight to the line, while it was a very tight finish between Denmark and China for the second spot.

The Italian men’s eight followed suit and together with the American eight they took out the top two spots - and therefore the two final tickets in this event. The USA won the final, while Italy had to wait for the result in a photo finish with Canada, beating the latter by 0.01 seconds on the line.

Denmark’s sweep women were on fire on the last day of racing, securing not only the Paris 2024 ticket in the eight, but also in the women’s four and women’s pair.

In a strong final sprint, New Zealand secured the second qualifying place behind Denmark in the women’s pair, while Ireland moved ahead of Denmark in the women’s four to also qualify.

In the men’s pair, having led for much of the race, Denmark was overhauled and in the sprint to the line was between Germany, Lithuania, and the Netherlands. It was too close to call on the line but eventually it was confirmed that Germany and Lithuania had secured the two qualifying places for Paris.

In the men’s four, an impressive sprint from the Italians, secured them Olympic qualification with Switzerland taking the second spot in front of an ecstatic home crowd.

Racing in front of a home crowd was also extra motivation for France’s crews at this last chance regatta, with both the French women’s and men’s lightweight doubles sculls sealing their home Olympic spot ahead of Greece, who took the second and final spots in both events.

Another two spots were on the line in the women’s double sculls with Czechia taking the win and Great Britain adding to their impressive total number of boats qualified for Paris. In the men’s double sculls, the USA and Serbia are heading that way too.

The USA secured another Olympic berth in the women’s quadruple sculls with Ukraine joining them, while the US men’s quadruple sculls crew just missed out on Olympic qualification by just 0.13 seconds with Norway and Estonia locking in the final two spots. Spain’s and Switzerland’s women’s single scullers as well as Romania and the USA on the men's side, locked in the final Paris 2024 Olympic sculling tickets.

With 99 days to go to the start of the Paralympic Games, the Final Olympic and Paralympic Qualifying Regatta also decided the remaining spots for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Regatta (28 August – 4 September 2024). While there were two qualifying places available across the Olympic events, there was only one up for grabs in most of the Paralympic classes which made for extra exciting racing.

The PR3 mixed double sculls will premiere at the Paralympic Games and it will be Ukraine who will get the chance to write history come Paris after taking the single qualifying place ahead of Brazil.

In addition to securing two Olympic spots, Paris 2024 host country France also secured three in the Paralympic classes, including the PR1 men’s single sculls as well as the PR2 mixed double sculls. In the latter, Israel qualified for the Paralympic Games as well.

In the PR3 mixed coxed four Italy was absolutely untouchable and approached the line to secure Paralympic qualification comfortably ahead of Brazil, who took the second place.

Overall, 18 NOCs secured additional Olympic quota places at Lucerne this week, with the USA securing four, Denmark and Italy three, while France, Greece and Switzerland added two to their overall Paris 2024 qualifying spots.

In the Paralympic events, France will prepare two additional crews for their Home Games, while Ukraine, Italy, Brazil and Israel secured one. Pending a protest, the spot in the PR1 women’s single sculls is yet to be decided.

The Rotsee will heat up again from Friday, 24 May with Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic medal contenders lining up for the 2024 World Rowing Cup II (24-26 May 2024) and the penultimate International racing chance ahead of the Games.


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